Upstate New York is primo orchard country, but chances are high that you’ve eaten the fruit of one farm in particular: Red Jacket. The Nicholson family tends trees up in the Finger Lakes but has long sold at city farmers markets and to restaurants and retailers. Famous for their eponymous rosy-skinned apricots, they grow everything from currants to gooseberries.
Now Sarah Huck, a cookbook author who sold fruit at Red Jacket’s stand for five summers and now co-owns Park Slope’s Kos Kaffe, has co-authored a gorgeous cookbook with the orchard owners aptly entitled Fruitful: Four Seasons of Fresh Fruit Recipes (Running Press, May 2014.) It’s ripe with cakes and cocktails but also unexpected spins like scallop-blueberry ceviche, grilled skirt steak with blackberry-serrano glaze and Dan Barber’s recipe for apricot pit panna cotta.
We suggest you pick up a copy for yourself, and try this recipe in the meantime:
Blueberry and sorrel salad with sweet onion vinaigrette
Incorporating fruit into salads is a great opportunity to play with flavors and experiment with whatever looks interesting at your local farm stand. This combo of ripe blueberries, lemony sorrel and sweet spring onions is an example of market foraging at its best, proof that when you cook in season, you almost never go wrong.
Makes 4 servings
1/4 cup/30 grams thinly sliced spring onion or sweet onion, such as Vidalia
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups/120 grams fresh spinach leaves
2 cups/60 grams fresh sorrel leaves, cut into thin ribbons
2/3 cup/90 grams fresh blueberries
1/3 cup/40 grams thinly sliced radish
In a small bowl, toss together the onion slices and vinegar; let them stand for 10 minutes at room temperature. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, salt, sugar and black pepper to taste. Stir in the onions and vinegar, to taste.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach, sorrel, blueberries and radishes. Toss in the dressing until well combined. Serve immediately.